I have seen many different threads about this same issue, but have not seen anything that has worked for me. I have a Dell inspiron 1525 and recently upgraded to windows 7. Since then all is good except for the fact that the internal microphone doesn't work at all. I have tried to install the sigmatel driver, but it says it doesn't support my operating system, even when I try and install it with compatibility mode. I would love any help on the subject as I am getting very frustrated with it. Thanks.
Without the Sigmatel driver you are having to use the native Windows HD audio driver which is a basic generic that does not support all functions of the audio hardware. As you said the normal solution is to install the Sigmatel Vista audio driver R218148 in Vista compatibility mode. To do that you would download the Vista driver package and unzip it but cancel the installation process. Go to its folder at c:\Dell\Drivers\R218148. Find the setup.exe file and right click on it. Select the Properties. Find the compatibility tab and select Vista.
If that is what you did and got the error message I suspect it is because it is a 32 bit driver and your version of 7 is 64 bit. There is another driver you can try. When Sigmatel went out of business it was absorbed by IDT and the early IDT drivers seem to be based on the Sigmatel ones. The IDT R226903 audio driver for 7 reportedly works on the 1525 so it is worth a try. You might be able to install it directly, but the instructions I was given were as follows:
With the Windows native driver installed, download and unzip the IDT but cancel the installation. Go into Device Manager to the audio controller (under "Sound, Video, and Game Controllers"). Right click on it and chose to update the driver. Choose to manually find the driver and don't let Windows look for it. Browse to c:\Dell\drivers\R226903 then click "Next". When you restart the laptop Windows will detect your audio hardware and install the IDT driver.
I have to amend my previous statements. When I read your post I overlooked the word "internal" and was thinking about the external mic jack not working. So, if you have the optional digital mic array:
Whether or not you can get either the Sigmatel or IDT audio driver installed, the mic array might still not work. The mic array is a function of the optional webcam. I don't know if the webcam on your model will work in 7 or not. There are 2 components to the software, the webcam driver and the Webcam Central software. In 7 the webcam driver is incorporated into the OS so you should not have to install it. Try looking for the mic array on the recording tab of the Sounds properties. If there, set it as the default recording device. If not there right click anywhere in the white area and select Show Disabled Devices. If you find it in there, enable and make it the default.
If you cannot find the mic array at all, try installing Webcam Central or the older Webcam Center. Getting the software might be a problem though. On the 1525's drivers & download page there is Dell Webcam Manager R168730 with Webcam Center. It is compatible with Vista 64 bit so you might be able to get it installed in Vista compatibility mode. If you get it installed, try to activate the mic array in the Sound properties again. if you still do not see mic array there or under Disabled Devices, try
1. Click Start.
2. Click either All Programs or Programs.
3. Click the Dell Webcam folder, then click the Dell Webcam Manager icon to open it.
4. In the Dell Webcam Manager, click the Dell Webcam Center.
5. In the lower right-hand corner of the Dell Webcam Center window, click the drop-down arrow next to Audio Source and click Digital Mic to enable the microphone. (On some models click Microphone/Line-in>More>Microphone Array Sigmatel.)
If none of that works, there is a monitor driver package that contains Webcam Central that works on some of the laptops but I have not heard of anyone trying it on the 1525. If you try it, get rid of all other webcam drivers and software first. Dell SX2110 Monitor & Webcam Software R230103.
Well I installed the dell webcam central, but the microphone still doesn't work. When I go to sound recording I can see the microphone array and it is selected as default, yet it does not pick up any sound at all. It has microphone/line in as not plugged in, the microphone array shows the "sigmate high definition audio CODEC" as as the default device. Do I need to uninstall old drivers? I have tried to install almost every sigmatel driver I've come across in my search for an answer. Thanks for the help so far.
Well I installed the dell webcam central, but the microphone still doesn't work.
Can you open the application. Sometimes it won't run which affects the mic array. If the application will not open, insert a usb device into a usb port and try again while the application is telling you it is not working. Don't ask me why that would work because I don't know, but dozens of people have confirmed it.
When I go to sound recording I can see the microphone array and it is selected as default, yet it does not pick up any sound at all.
I assume you are testing it by recording into Windows Sound Recorder? Could be the mic array is not working. They can become defective or the connection can become loose. In the latter case one has to loosen the bezel around the screen to reconnect it.
Don't know if it will help but there is an online mic test for laptops with 7. "Sound Problems in Microsoft Windows Microphone Troubleshooting"
Click on "Run the Audio Recording Troubleshooter" to download the Dell Audio Recording Diagnostic tool.
the microphone array shows the "sigmate high definition audio CODEC" as as the default device. Do I need to uninstall old drivers? I have tried to install almost every sigmatel driver I've come across in my search for an answer.
Because you see "Sigmatel Codec" in the Sounds properties it means you have a Sigmatel driver installed. When you are running the native driver you just see "High Definition Audio Device". The only Sigmatel driver I think you should use is the Vista one for the 1525, R218148. I would suggest deleting all other Sigmatel folders from the hard driver at c:\Dell\Drivers\. The audio drivers folders are the ones that have a subfolder named WDM.
I would try the IDT driver if nothing else works.
Well I uninstalled the sigmatel drivers and tried to install the IDT, but that didn't work either. It has a green phone icon next to microphone/line in. then next to microphone array it just has a green check mark and says its the default device. If I were to reinstall windows would this improve my chances of getting something working? Any ideas?
I doubt that reinstalling 7 would help. If the mic array is there -- it was optional at the time of purchase -- and undamaged -- it ought to work under Vista.
I don't have any new ideas, just the ones previously mentioned. Check for loose connection, download and run the Dell Audio Recording Diagnostic tool, try the R230103 Monitor & Webcam software, see if Webcam Central will open without an error message.
Another test you could try is the microphone test in Dell's PC Checkup.
I upgraded from Vista to Win 8 and couldn't get the darn mic to work or be recognized for 2 weeks. Finally found this and worked like a charm---